Saskatoon real estate week in review for July 22-28, 2018

For the sixth consecutive week, the number of Saskatoon real estate sales that were completed exceeded those recorded for the same period last year. Local agents processed a total of 84 Saskatoon home sales, down eight from last week, but up 13 when compared to sales over the same period last year.

New listing activity fell lower on a weekly basis but grew a bit annually. This week’s total came in at 148, three more than were listed during the same week of 2017, but down 28 homes compared to last week.

The total number of Saskatoon homes for sale on the multiple listing service® fell lower to 2049 by this morning, for a weekly drop of 21 and an annual decline of 161 listings. The number of single-family homes for sale in Saskatoon slipped lower to 1117, down just seven from last week’s close, and down from 1259 a year ago. Condo listings fell a bit more as they declined from 821 at last week’s close to just 805 today. At the close of the same week last year there were 855 Saskatoon condominiums for sale of the MLS®.

While there was no shortage of high end homes trading this week, strong activity in price ranges below $200,000 ushered the median sale price of a Saskatoon home down by nearly 20K to $321,500. The average price for the week was $335,851 which was lower than the previous week by around four thousand dollars. The four-week median price held steady at last week’s number, $325,000 to claim a rare annual gain of $100. The six-week average price grew by two thousand dollars from a week earlier to reach $335,851 losing just over 10K on an annual basis. These are the smallest annual price changes we’ve recorded in months.

Three lucky sellers found some love in an over list price offer. One of those overbids was good for a $20,000 bonus skewing the average to $8400. Meanwhile, 75 sellers had to give up some green at the negotiating table. They settled for a price that was, on average, $14,699 below their asking price.

Here is a breakdown of what the sales to listing price ratio looked like on this week’s sales. Please note that those sales that do show a sale price that is greater than the list price are all new properties that spent some period of time on the market, and most likely included additional improvements that were not reflected in the original list price. We report these to you as “at list price sales”, which is likely too generous in some cases, but it’s simply not practical to obtain the full details of each sale.

More weekly stats and numbers for those who love them.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions. All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Norm Fisher

Royal LePage Vidorra

New mortgage rules could affect what you qualify for by 20 points: OneStreet Mortgage

This yesterday from our friends at OneStreet Mortgage.

“Effective October 17, 2016, all insured homebuyers must qualify for mortgage insurance at an interest rate the greater of their contract mortgage rate or the Bank of Canada’s conventional five-year fixed posted rate. This requirement is already in place for high-ratio insured mortgages with variable interest rates or fixed interest rates with terms less than five years. What does this mean for the average household?”

More on the OneStreet Mortage blog, here.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Vidorra

CMHC announces new rules making it easier to purchase homes with secondary rental suites

Finally! A rule change by CMHC that actually puts less resistance on the borrower. Effective September 28, borrowers aiming to purchase properties with legal, secondary suites, will have a bit of a boost qualifying for their purchase.

A release from CMHC said, “Many municipalities across the country now formally recognize secondary rental suites as a source of affordable housing. Rents in secondary rental suites are often lower than those for apartments in purpose-built rental buildings.”

These changes will allow homeowners to count more of the income from a property’s secondary unit when qualifying for a loan. Previously, 50% of a secondary unit’s rental income would be eligible to use for qualification. Canada’s largest mortgage insurer has now indicated that they will consider up to 100 percent of the gross rental income from (the subject property of a loan application) two-unit, owner-occupied properties.

CMHC has suggested this would target two unit owner-occupied homes and would likely include basement rental units, in-law apartments and garden suites known as laneway homes. They generally classify secondary units as “self-contained with separate kitchen, sleeping and bathroom facilities.”

The legality of the secondary suite is a key component. CMHC only recognizes units that are legal or conform to local municipal standards. The Crown Corporation says that it’s up to lenders to exercise judgment, when it comes to borrowers proving the units are legal.

Homeowners with less than a 20 per cent down payment and borrowing from a regulated financial institution must get government backed mortgage default insurance. Even financial institutions not regulated by Ottawa, like credit unions, must abide by CMHC rules to be covered by the government backing.

Questions? Call me at 306-341-3539. I’ll be happy to help.

Tawny Bley
OneSt Mortgage (Assoc #316137)

Home ownership gets slightly more expensive May 1, 2014 (for some)

riel_200As you may have already heard, home buyers without a 20% down payment, will soon be paying more to buy a house. As of May 1st, 2014 the standard CMHC mortgage insurance premiums will be increased by an average of 15%. This is the first rate hike to premiums since 1998.

With an average home price hovering around $300,000 in SK, the current insurance premium with 5% down is 2.75% or $7,837.50. Once the changes take effect this will become 3.15% or $8,977.50. A difference of $1140, or roughly $5 per month on a standard 25 year mortgage payment.

The two other private insurers (Genworth and Canada Guaranty) have also followed suit and will be charging the same premiums as of May 1st. A full list of all changes can be found here:

So what can we as home buyers do to combat this fee? I have two tips to help you ease the pain of these recent changes:

Make sure your financing has been submitted for approval prior to May 1st. As long as you make an offer and your bank/lender submits the file prior to May 1st, you can move in months later and the new premiums will not apply. I know this is a little unrealistic being that we are only days away from these recent changes but it is the most immediate solution.

Offset the expense with a better mortgage rate (you knew this was coming). Again, based on $300,000, a .10% difference in your mortgage rate, you will save roughly $1400 over the course of a standard 5 year term.

All in all, if you qualify to buy a home today, the changes should not impact your ability to purchase the same home after May 1st. Debt ratios will remain almost identical with the $5 per month increase to a mortgage payment so although these are higher costs, don’t expect them to change anything in the housing market.

Please free to send me an email, text, or call anytime. I am always happy to help home buyers with any questions they may have, strategize over future plans or save you money on your mortgage!

Riel Syrenne
TMG The Mortgage Group